Sunday, September 2, 2012

Grief denied

I am not doing well. I want to be, but I am not.

The effort to remove the nanny that was not safe for our family has taken all of my focus and energy since right after Micah died. Dealing with the aftermath she created has taken even more time. She opted to revert to acting like trash when she was fired, complete with false claims to the state that we have had to defend ourselves from. The state was understanding and has closed the case in record time (2.5 weeks). The worker kept telling me to please not stress. However, only someone who has never had to undergo this nonsense would think it is even possible to not stress under the circumstances.

When I'm not stressed or angry, and I am angry a LOT right now, I almost have to stop and chuckle. II has long said I am my own worst critic. This nanny lived with us for a year and saw me at my most vunerable and worst. Yet, all she had to call the state with was blatant lies. All the things I convict myself for as poor parenting choices, either she didn't seem them as bad parenting or the state didn't see them as worthy of writing down.

I yell. I yell a lot. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed, I tell the children to leave the room so that they don't have to be subjected to the primitive yolps I let out in frustration, even. I have a tendency to monologue at my kids. I try REALLY hard to not, but sometimes I do so anyway. I get frustrated when kids don't listen to me and I overreact. I overreact enough that I frequently have to apologize for overreacting, in fact.

My worst parenting was after I caught II. I wasn't abusive of the kids and technically wasn't neglectful because II was there to care for them. However, I just checked out. For six months, breathing was more than I could handle of life most days. I frequently would be sitting in the living room and simply walk out and go to bed because the chaos of normal life with the kids would overwhelm me so much. Sweet A was so worried about me through that time. I think II was worried about me too. The grief process of that betrayal knocked me off my feet and out of the game for awhile.

This time, the stress of the betrayal of a friend and the removal of this nanny has knocked me down. I haven't checked out. I'm still functioning in every way the kids need me to function. What I am not doing is grieving Micah's death well. It's there. It's buried deep inside. I just don't feel safe to unpackage it and feel the emotions I know will overwhelm me. I can only hope that I can control how I have compartmentalized this so that it doesn't shut me down and I can continue to care for the children until I am safe to bring it out.

Next Wednesday, six of my children go to public school. This change in paradigm is so huge that it threatens to take my breath away. It is not scary as it was the last time I attempted this. Four of my children were in public school this spring with success. A has been in school for 2.5 years now and has thrived. He did most of last year in a virtual academy simply to avoid the ghetto school he was districted for, but he was still not involving me in his education. This year, I add two more children to the school goers.

The only children who will not be in public school is C, who has Asperger's Syndrome, severe Dyslexia, apraxia, Auditory Processing Disorder and an extremely high IQ. This twice gifted child will never fully integrate into a public school environment. I fully expect I will continue to homeschool him until he enters college. The other child still at home is J, who at three is too young to enter public school at this point. I was going to homeschool Ch and L until Micah died and I realized it was just too much for me now.

Given that I have made the leap and put L into kindergarten, I expect once J is old enough, he too will simply enter kindergarten instead of homeschooling. Some of me is sad that these last two babies won't get the same foundations the older kids did. However, life is simply different now than it was back then. I cannot be the mother to these two little caboose cars that I was to the gaggle that came before them. I am not that person anymore.

I need to be safe to grieve. I need to return to work. I need to finish my education and start a career path. I need to be here for the emotional needs of my children. None of those things allow me to be the mother I want to be and continue to homeschool them. I am sad at that change but at the same time I have some excitement as well.

Mostly, I am hoping that I can continue to fucntion until they are all in school so that I can finally be safe to unpack my grief and face it before it takes me down.

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